Tunisia got off to a flying start scoring a try within the first minutes of the game. The game was played beneath the iconic dome of El Menzeh’s sports complex in Tunisia’s capital city of Tunis on Saturday 9th of October. A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered on the home team waving the red flags of Tunisia as the women’s team played a fast paced opening against Senegal that resulted in an overall victory of 14-3 to Tunisia.
After scoring their first try Tunisia had to defend hard against Senegal’s series of powerful attacks. Tunisia defended well against the Senegal who were like a moving wall lead by No. 8 Coumba Nidaye who pushed forward with sheer force of strength in attempt to to take control of the game
Senegal’s No.5 Fatou Cissokho only to be felled by Tunisia’s No. 12 Lamia Mlawah as Cissokho charged towards the line. Despite their strength Senegal Tunisia’s smaller but faster players laid waste to the opposition. Senegal suffered a number of injuries with Senegal’s’ Coumba Ndiaye forced to retire having sustained a shoulder injury.
The first half turned into a siege with Tunisia marking their goal in the face of Senegal’s determined attacks, ending in Tunisia’ maintaining their 5-0 lead.
Tunisia’s team manager Abdelaziz Chaouachi said of the opening “it’s a good result, scoring so early, seemed to make a big impact on the Senegalese team psychologically.” He added, both teams are equally strong physically but with different strengths, Senegal is stronger in the scrums and Tunisia play a more technical and faster game, which is a result from their strong showing in the women’s 7s which is a very fast game.”
The second half saw both sides play a much faster game, as both teams found a new confidence boosting their energy.
Senegal continued their tactic of playing an attacking game to push through Tunisia’s defenders, but still they could not counter Tunisia’s highly technical defense and fearless Lamia Mlawah, who brought down Senegal’s No. 4 the mighty Yvonne Mendy.
Tunisia’s secret weapon, No. 14 Emna ben Arous, and her immense turns of speed brought the ball up the field close to the Senegal’s line only to be turned back by a strengthened Senegalese defence.
The last twenty minutes saw Tunisia play a fast passing game, but injuries on both sides came thick and fast and the two teams settled their differences with a series of penalties one penalty kick was awarded to Senegal but Tunisia’s No.10 Ameni ben Salem who scored one try in the first half and three penalties overall that made her woman of the match.
A very happy Ameni ben Salem said “it was a great experience, we came in aware that Senegal were much more experienced in the 15s game, we are much more experienced in play 7s.”
Abdelaziz Chaouachi said that these games are important “because they will give the teams their world ranking so this will help Rugby Africa organize and structure the Africa Cup games.”Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa.
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Women’s Rugby in Africa:
On the African continent, women’s rugby has seen tremendous growth. In the last decade it increased from 50 000 female players in 2012, to over 260 000 in 2018. For this tremendous growth to continue, strong leadership in women’s rugby needs to continue, the Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship is one of the tools that will enable this. Africa will also be well represented when South Africa participates in the next rugby World Cup women in New Zealand in 2021 and Kenya in the Olympic Games.
About Rugby Africa:
Created in 1986, Rugby Africa (RugbyAfrique.com), previously the African Confederation of Rugby (Confédération Africaine de Rugby – CAR), is one of the six regional associations composing World Rugby (WorldRugby.org), the international organization responsible for the governing of Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens. Rugby Africa unites all African countries which play rugby union, rugby sevens, and women’s rugby. Rugby Africa organizes the qualifying competition for the Rugby World Cup, and Africa Sevens, a qualifying competition for the Olympic Games. Rugby Africa has 39 members unions.
© Press Release 2021
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